En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - July 30, 2010

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Determining whether a wisteria is native in Katy TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

If a wisteria is blooming after the leaves are out (there are a couple of blooms right now, in July), is it a sure sign that this is a native Texas wisteria?

ANSWER:

Hey, in Nature nothing is a sure sign of anything, and Mr. Smarty Plants is not going to get pinned down on that one. American wisteria, Texas wisteria and Kentucky wisteria are all the same plant: Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria). All we can do is refer you to our page on that plant by following the link, where you can read about its appearance and characteristics. You will note on that page that it blooms in May and June, and only on new wood.

Next, we will do some research and find some information on the non-native wisterias, Chinese wisteria or Wisteria sinensis. The link will take you to Invasives.org, Center for Invasive Species and  Ecosystem Health. You will quickly learn why we do not like non-native species in our gardens from this website, which has several links to other websites on the plant. Of particular interest among those websites, we thought, was from the USDA Forest Service Weed of the Week. According to that site, Wisteria sinense blooms in April and May.

You didn't say how long you have had the plant; if it has been there for a while and hasn't overgrown the house, any trees around, and children, you probably have a native. If it is newly planted, and purchased from a local nursery, you may be in trouble. If it starts showing fast-growing, invasive characteristics, kill it while you're still bigger than it is, and most especially, don't let it go to seed. It is a legume, and has long seed pods which, spread by animals, people or wind, will soon have all your neighbors mad at you, too.

Pictures of Wisteria sinense from Google:

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Wisteria frutescens

Wisteria frutescens

Wisteria frutescens

Wisteria frutescens

 

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Invasive native wild onions in East Granby CT
May 17, 2011 - I have wild onions which have become extremely invasive. I have no idea how to get rid of them, and this year they seem to have taken over my entire flower bed. I tried pulling the bulbs out for sever...
view the full question and answer

Plants for delineating property line
July 18, 2010 - I have a neighbor who does not mow his grass or take care of a strip that runs between my property and his. I would like to plant some inexpensive, low maintenance, shrubs, that would do well in full...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating wisteria invading from neighboring yard
October 12, 2008 - How can I get rid of Wisteria vine? It originates in my neighbor's yard. Have tried everything; gets in my Oak tree and has almost killed it. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Pictures of Bastard Cabbage from Dallas TX
April 07, 2012 - HI! Re your March 12 posting: The USDA Plants website pictures two very different looking plants identified as Rapistrum rugosum (bastardcabbage). Would you please post a photo with leaf and bloom ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Invasive Plants
March 15, 2004 - How can I find out if a plant is federally listed as an invasive?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center